In the New World of Publishing Series we’re going to touch on five main elements of this exciting, ever changing, and often-confusing industry.
It’s that time of year when many individuals regroup and revisit their goals, and think about what they still want to accomplish before the end of the year. If one of your goals is having a book published, this series will provide you with some critical information you need to know. Also, if you haven’t started the process and would like to at least investigate the possibilities, take some time to peruse our site, specifically our informative blog posts. Feel free to contact us directly for a chat. If you would like to submit your manuscript for consideration and/or evaluation, you can do that as well.
1. Know the Importance of Having Goals and Discuss with Your Publisher
- What do you want to achieve by writing/publishing your book?
- What do you want to provide to the reader? What’s your message?
- Is your book something you’ve always wanted to do, but more so for family and friends? (People write for many different reasons. What’s yours?)
- Is it a novel, short story, sci-fi, or memoir? Or does it have a business, self-help, or spiritual focus, which relates to what you do for a living? (Many publishers have a specialty genre or two they focus on.)
- Who is your target audience?
- How established is your own internet presence and social media platform?
- What role can you play in engaging/building your audience and marketing your book?
- . . . And so on . . .
2. The Differences Between Self, Traditional,and Partner Publishing
Self-publishing has the highest learning curve, depending on where your strengths lie. You do the research, sourcing experts (including editing), file creation, promotion, etc. You invest your time, and pay for the consulting and services you need. Sales revenue varies depending on the channels you sell your book through, although you have decent margins to work with since you typically source printing and buy your books at wholesale. When you personally sell your books (for retail), you make the most.
Mainstream publishing is where you focus on creating a well-prepared manuscript and establishing a plan to pitch your manuscript to select publishers (or agents) that might be interested in your work. It is usually very wise to still hire an editor to assist you with this. Then you wait for a potential reply and expressed interest in your book. Once you’ve received this, which if you do can take quite some time, you will negotiate a contract with your publisher. If this is the route you decide to go, don’t be discouraged—it can take a while—and if there is no response, it doesn’t mean your work is not good. Besides covering the initial costs of editing, and admin for prep and pitching, some of the other costs are covered by your publisher. Thus, in comparison to self or partner publishing, the business model for mainstream publishing is the reverse; so your earnings per book sale, after an initial monetary advance, equal about 8 to 12 cents per book.
Partner publishing bridges the gap between self and mainstream publishing. There are a few different business models within this emerging author-focused platform, some better than others (like with most things). You pay for what you need. A lot of the guess work and learning curve has been looked after for you. Given that you can maintain a lot of choice and direct involvement with respect to content and timing (i.e. when you want to publish); this is becoming a very popular choice. You have a partner in the creative, production, and publishing process, and expertise you can draw on. Some partner publishing companies also have established platforms to further assist you with gaining more exposure (i.e. social media presence, and online bookstores). They often have very good contacts in the industry that can help you get better pricing on printing, etc., than you might be able to do yourself. When you personally sell your book, you keep all the profits in your pocket.
As is often the case when I write, especially for our blog here at I C Publishing, I feel like I’m just scratching the surface. That said, I know the value of digesting new information more than once, and in bite-size pieces too. You’ll notice we added a few extra links to past blogs and PDFs, in case you wish to do a little more reading and exploring. The New World of Publishing Series – Part 2 of 2 will be posted on Wed, Sept 17th, covering the main steps in the publishing process, key components to creating a high quality book, and promotion.
Until next time, get back to your writing, follow your heart, believe in your work and the difference you make, and be in touch if we can help in any way. There’s always the comment section below if you’d like to share a public note here, our Contact Box at the bottom of your screen, and of course, email or phone.
Thanks as always for your time,
Sheri and the I C Publishing Team